University of Oulu

Pihlajaniemi H, Luusua A, Juntunen E. Drivers’ Experiences and Informed Opinions of Presence Sensitive Lighting Point towards the Feasibility of Introducing Adaptive Lighting in Roadway Contexts. Smart Cities. 2023; 6(4):1879-1900.

Drivers’ experiences and informed opinions of presence sensitive lighting point towards the feasibility of introducing adaptive lighting in roadway contexts

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Author: Pihlajaniemi, Henrika1; Luusua, Aale1; Juntunen, Eveliina2
Organizations: 1Oulu School of Architecture, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiterankatu 1, FI-90570 Oulu, Finland
2VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., Kaitoväylä 1, FI-90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-18


Applications of adaptive and intelligent lighting technologies such as presence sensitive lighting, potentially offer solutions for reducing the energy consumption of road lighting while maintaining user comfort and safety. However, little is known about road users’ experiences of such lighting. To address this gap, we conducted a real-world case study of a presence sensitive roadway lighting on a collector road in a housing area in southern Finland. New, controllable LED lighting with PIR (passive infrared) presence sensors was implemented along the road, and test scenarios were designed, programmed, and tested. The lighting was adapted both to motor vehicles using the road and to the measured traffic density along it. Drivers’ experiences and attitudes toward the lighting were collected in a three-phase evaluation with questionnaires from the community of about 1000 households using the road as part of their daily mobility. The results indicate that as an experience, presence sensitive lighting in a road environment was at least as positive as traditional, uncontrolled lighting. User experiences of presence sensitive lighting did not differ from the experiences of uncontrolled lighting regarding pleasantness, uniformity, glare, and road visibility. Most of the drivers (86%) did not notice any dynamic change in the lighting. When informed about the tested lighting strategies, most of the participants (72%) would prefer either one of the intelligent lighting modes to be the permanent lighting solution. The results of this exploratory, real-world study point towards the potential feasibility of this technology from a user experience perspective, as the experienced stability of the lighting was unaltered in the tested scenarios; importantly, it also highlights the need to study adaptive roadway lighting further, especially through confirmatory studies in controlled settings.

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Series: Smart cities
ISSN: 2624-6511
ISSN-E: 2624-6511
ISSN-L: 2624-6511
Volume: 6
Issue: 4
Pages: 1879 - 1900
DOI: 10.3390/smartcities6040087
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 211 Architecture
113 Computer and information sciences
213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This research was funded by TEKES The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, grant number 1223/31/2015, and by participating cities (Helsinki, Lahti, Oulu, Raahe, Salo, and Tampere), companies (C2 Smartlight, Elisa, GreenLED, Misal, Nokia, and Valopaa), and research institutions (Univ. of Oulu and VTT).
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (